For the first time, FDA announces safety rules for pet food manufacturers

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NaturalNews) In the wake of yet another wave of animals  deaths caused by tainted pet treats, the FDA has just announced new  “Preventive Controls for Food for Animals” rules that would, for the first time,  establish basis manufacturing standards for pet food.
Click  here to read the proposed regulations.
Natural News readers know that  I am usually an outspoken critic of the FDA on issues like drug safety and the  agency’s attacks on nutritional supplements and raw milk. But on this issue of  dog food manufacturing, I honestly have to agree with the FDA in this  context.
Today’s pet food manufacturing practices are abhorrent. They  are beyond sickening; they’re downright toxic. There are virtually no rules  governing pet food manufacturing, meaning almost anyone can set up a dog food  plant in a garage or warehouse, and they can pack and sell commercial dog food  products even without following basic rules of hygiene and food contamination  prevention.
Even worse, consider what ingredients are allowed in pet  food products: there are currently no laws or regulations whatsoever that  limit the amount of toxic heavy metals, toxic chemicals, artificial substances,  fillers or anything else in pet food. Manufacturers of pet food have, for  decades, gotten away with selling the most contaminated, polluted, toxic and  sickening “food” imaginable  (all promoted with happy, healthy-looking dogs and lovey-dovey images, of  course).
In America, it is currently legal to manufacture a pet food  product that kills pets, and there’s nothing the public can do about it.

Contaminated pet food is killing our pets

Because of these practices,  America is currently experiencing an epidemic of pet cancer and diabetes.  Pet diseases are at an all-time high, and just as with humans, much of that is  caused by low-quality foods and high levels of food contaminants.
It  really is time to require pet  food manufacturers to meet, at minimum, some basic standards of food quality  and manufacturing practices. And even though you know me as a person who prefers  small government, there are a limited number of situations where centralized  government regulation is actually needed — and one of those is in establishing  and enforcing basic food manufacturing standards.
I also happen to think  that another proper role of government is to establish honest food labeling  laws such as forcing food manufacturers to disclose GMOs on food labels.  Labeling and food safety issues can only be enforced by a central authority of  some sort, because the corporations that make food (for humans and pets) would  try almost anything if they could get away with it!
For the  record, I am strongly opposed to government regulations that impair individual  liberty, such as the Obamacare mandate which ridiculously requires people to buy  health insurance they often don’t want or need. But I am in favor of government  regulation of large corporations which almost always tend to be in the business  of lying, stealing, cheating or harming the public. In my view, we need the FDA to lay off small farmers and  spend more resources clamping down on big business. This should include pet food  manufacturers.

FDA wants pet food manufacturers to have a food safety plan

On the FDA  Voice blog, Daniel McChesney, Ph.D. explains that the proposed new  regulations would “require facility owners to have a food safety plan and to  have controls in place to minimize any potential hazards.”
This makes  sense to me. Remember, our own store engages in food packaging, and we have  already undergone USDA organic certification, FDA inspections and county-level  health department inspections. I am not opposed to any of these because  if we are going to have a relatively safe supply of foods in this country, we do  need some fundamental standards to be enforced among those who manufacture and  package foods.
However, the FDA has a huge problem in that it really  doesn’t understand what “safe” food is. In the FDA’s view, the only safe food  is a dead food which is why the agency supports so much fumigation and  irradiation of food products. What the FDA doesn’t understand is that there are  certain types of food — such as raw milk — where living bacteria actually  benefit consumers by providing diverse probiotics. The FDA doesn’t  understand this. According to the FDA, all microbiology is assumed to be bad by  default.
On the issue of heavy metals, I agree with the FDA’s position  that metals should be minimized in foods. Lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic and  even tin, aluminum and copper can be toxic at levels frequently found in foods.  The FDA actively spot checks imported foods for these metals and will quarantine  products showing levels that are “too high.” Yet, at the same time, the FDA  refuses to publicly release these threshold numbers. What does the agency  actually consider to be “too high?” It’s a secret, and they’re not  telling.

The FDA’s authority must be kept in check by reasonable  oversight

Whatever the FDA decides to do with pet food safety, it needs to  be kept in check with both congressional oversight and public whistleblowing in  case the agency gets out of line. Yes, these proposed pet  food regulations seems to make good sense, but the FDA could go too far and  get tyrannical with it.
For example, I don’t think the FDA should be  raiding pet food plants at gunpoint like they helped initiate with James  Stewart, the raw milk farmer from California. That’s clearly an abuse of power.  But if the FDA enforces basic standards at pet food manufactures using  reasonable application of authority (i.e. warning letters followed by  fines and only then followed by more aggressive action if needed), then I  honestly think nearly all pet owners in America would be okay with  that.
If you don’t agree with me on the need for stronger pet food  regulations, I dare you to get a job in a pet food factory and see how  long you can keep from puking your guts out. Once you see this firsthand, you  will BEG for the FDA to nail down some basic guidelines. The stuff that goes on  in pet food manufacturing plants should never have to be seen by human eyes. It  is beyond nasty. It’s inhumane.
So I’m going to keep an eye on the FDA  with all this. If they roll out reasonable pet food safety regulations and  enforce them in a reasonable, professional manner that prioritizes the public  interest, I will support it. If they go “militant” on us and start raiding pet  food plants at gunpoint, I will obviously speak out against it.
It will  be interesting to watch how the FDA actually enforces all this, especially in an  age where more and more branches of government are  becoming militarized, such as the EPA.
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